Icy Apple Leaves

“Frosted, apple leaves. They're weird and Red Delicious!” (Sung to Lucky Charms tune.)
“Frosted, apple leaves. They’re weird and Red Delicious!” (Sung to Lucky Charms tune.)

There’s still a leaf or two on a few of the fruit trees in the orchard!

Both a Honeycrisp apple tree (Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’) and a Red Delicious scion (Malus domestica ‘Red Delicious’) on our multi graft apple tree have two leaves on them and I don’t know if that’s significant or not.

I noticed them today when surveying the property after last night’s wintry mix. The temperature dropped as low as 10º just last week, and I’m surprised there are still leaves on any of the deciduous trees, let alone these two, small fruit trees. I wonder why.

Is it the tree? Do Honeycrisp or Red Delicious apple trees hang on to their leaves tenaciously? Taken together, the harvest dates for both are about a month between the first week of August and the first week of September, though neither fruited for us this year. (Only the Golden Delicious (Malus domestica ‘Golden Delicious’) and all seven of it’s little apples disappeared mid-summer. Squirrels may have been the culprits.)

The spot for this tree is actually pretty out in the open. No shelter nearby and if the asphalt was keeping things warm, wouldn't it affect more trees? I think this is just random.
The spot for this tree is actually pretty out in the open. No shelter nearby and if the asphalt was keeping things warm, wouldn’t it affect more trees? I think this is just random.

Is it their placement? Is there some sort of microclimate along the outer orchard, maybe heat from the asphalt? Probably not though there may be something going on with the multi-graft as that tree put on a lot of growth and the cardoon in its guild was the biggest and green the longest of any of the others in the orchard. Maybe that telephone pole nearby is providing something, or maybe the soil is particularly good in that spot…I don’t know.

Maybe it’s just random. Time may tell.

Gardening is Good,
~Ben

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